TAIEX up on ‘hot money’ inflow
The TAIEX edged higher yesterday, led by financial stocks, as “hot money” continued to pour into the market and pushed the benchmark index to its highest close since April 13.
The weighted index ranged between a high of 7,778.06 and a low of 7,725.90 before finishing up 24.17 points, or 0.31 percent, at 7,762.22. Turnover was NT$114.6 billion (US$3.92 billion), exceeding the NT$100 billion level for a second consecutive trading session for the first time since the middle of March.
A total of 2,411 stocks closed up, 2,235 finished down and 385 remained unchanged.
Most of the eight major stock categories closed higher, with textiles scoring the highest gains at 2 percent. The financial sector closed up 1.2 percent and accounted for 13 percent of total turnover.
Private investment falls
Private investment in the first eight months of the year fell 4.8 percent from a year ago because of the impact of economic uncertainty, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
From January to last month, private investment reached NT$795 billion, or 72.3 percent of the government’s full-year target of NT$1.1 trillion, ministry officials said at a press conference.
However, total investment was down from the NT$834.8 billion recorded in the same period last year, which already reached 75.89 percent of the ministry’s target at the time, the officials said.
Taiwanese businesspeople in China returned to invest in 45 projects during the first eight months of the year, with total investment reaching NT$41.9 billion, or 83.8 percent of the target, according to statistics compiled by the ministry’s Department of Investment Services.
In addition, foreign investment reached 91.13 percent of its target of US$9.11 billion, department data shows.
CEPD drafts competitive plan
Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) Deputy Minister Nancy Chen (陳小紅) yesterday said a cross-department team led by the council had come up with five ideas to strengthen the competitiveness of Taiwan’s human resources.
Chen, who took office yesterday to fill the place left by Hu Chung-ying (胡仲英), said the council would present these ideas to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Thursday next week.
Chen said the five ideas included measures to strengthen top domestic universities, increase university and industry cooperation to promote technological and vocational education, and ease restrictions to attract more overseas workers.
NT dollar continues rally
The New Taiwan dollar rose for a second consecutive trading day, touching a four-month high, after the US Federal Reserve’s asset-purchase plan spurred demand for Taiwanese stocks.
The NT dollar rose 0.2 percent to NT$29.399 against its US counterpart, according to Taipei Forex Inc. It touched NT$29.198 earlier, the strongest level since May 3.
The NT dollar has rallied 1 percent since Thursday, when the Fed announced the third round of quantitative easing program. It pared its advance toward the close of trading on speculation the central bank sought to curb gains, according to two traders who asked not to be identified.
“It looks like there’s a lot of speculative money coming into Taiwan,” said Tarsicio Tong (湯健揚), a currency trader at Union Bank of Taiwan (聯邦銀行) in Taipei. “The [New} Taiwan dollar’s surge was also caused by panic selling of the greenback” due to speculation the local currency will strengthen beyond the NT$29 per dollar level, he said.